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The Art of Donation - Exhibition Opens Today!

MOSAICS depicting a kidney transplant patient's journey from organ failure to full health will go on display at Manchester Museum next month.

The celebrated works of artist Tracey Walshaw will be unveiled to the public today, in conjunction with National Transplant Week!

The 53-year-old kidney transplant patient hopes her graphic portrayal of the harrowing process which saved her life will raise awareness about the importance of organ donation.

Tracey, from Oldham, began to create mosaics that would chart her journey to recovery as she suffered renal failure from polycystic kidney disease in late 2011.

She said: "The gift of a kidney and subsequently the potential for life and a future for recipients is one of life's most remarkable gestures.

"No words can express the gratitude recipients feel towards donors and so through my art I have found the best way I know of honouring that gift.

"The exhibition displays the mosaics I created before, during and after my transplant operation at Manchester Royal Infirmary in January 2012.

"I am dedicating it to my renal family - my donor, other donors and potential donors as well as the dedicated staff at MRI.

"I hope this exhibition will raise awareness about the need for kidney donors. There are currently more than 500 people in the Greater Manchester area waiting for a transplant."

The exhibition at Manchester Museum has been organised by charity Kidneys For Life, which raises funds for the Manchester Institute of Nephrology & Transplantation (MINT) at Manchester Royal Infirmary Renal Units and Royal Manchester Children's Hospital.

The money it raises enables vital research into kidney disease and provides essential medical equipment, education for renal staff and patient amenities not funded by the NHS.

The charity's fundraising manager Irene Chambers said: "Tracey has not only been brave enough to come through kidney failure, a transplant and her recovery, but has also found the courage to detail her journey so she can help others facing the same ordeal.

"She is an exceptional person and we are delighted to be able to showcase her mosaics and story at Manchester Museum, who have been hugely supportive of the Exhibition."

Manchester Royal Infirmary carries out more than 250 kidney transplant operations each year and represents more than 13 percent of all kidney, pancreas and islet cell transplants carried out in the UK.